Adam Silver

NBA Postpones All-Star Weekend In Indianapolis

The NBA and Pacers have postponed All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, which was originally set to be held from February 12-14 in 2021, the league announced in a press release today.

The events have been re-scheduled for February 16-18, 2024, with the All-Star Game scheduled to commence on February 18. Plans for a revised 2021 All-Star Weekend will be announced at a later date.

“While we are disappointed that the NBA All-Star Game will not take place in Indianapolis in 2021, we are looking forward to the Pacers and the city hosting the game and surrounding events in 2024,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.  “I want to thank [Pacers owner] Herb Simon, Steve Simon, Rick Fuson and the entire Pacers organization as well as the NBA All-Star 2021 Host Committee and the community of Indianapolis for working with us to reschedule our All-Star activities.”

Following 2021, Cleveland is set to host All-Star Weekend in 2022, with Salt Lake City hosting the events in 2023. The 2024 event would mark the second All-Star Game hosted by Indianapolis, with the first being held back in 1985.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring Indiana the very best All-Star experience in 2024,” Simon said. “The efforts of so many Hoosiers to prepare for NBA All-Star 2021 put us ahead of the game for the hard work to come, and we are so grateful to the NBA for once again recognizing Indianapolis as a city that delivers world-class events.”

And-Ones: Social Justice Board, Boatright, Jazz, Moore

Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley, Sterling Brown, Donovan Mitchell and Karl-Anthony Towns are the players chosen to serve on the league’s Social Justice Coalition Board, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (Twitter links).

The NBA and NBPA agreed to create the group to advance equality and social justice after teams walked out of games in late August to protest a police shooting. Commissioner Adam Silver, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, as well as owners Micky Arison, Steve Ballmer, Clay Bennett, Marc Lasry and Vivek Randadive and coaches Lloyd Pierce and Doc Rivers.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Ryan Boatright has signed with Lithuanian club team BC Rytas Vilnius, the team tweets. Boatright, 28, played in Europe last season after spending time in the G League during the 2018/19 season. The former University of Connecticut guard also played in Italy, China and Turkey.
  • The sale price of the Jazz bodes well for the league’s franchise valuations, Bill Shea of The Athletic notes. The team, along with an arena and a couple of minor-league teams, were sold to Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith for $1.66 billion, and the league’s owners are expected to approve the sale. The valuation falls in line with expectations and doesn’t reflect any pandemic discount, Shea continues. It also reinforces the notion that team values keep going up.
  • Former Pacers forward Ben Moore has signed with South East Melbourne Phoenix of Australia’s NBL, according to the team. Moore is expected to join the club for preseason training next month. Moore, who also spent time in the Spurs organization, logged two games with Indiana during the 2017/18 season.

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Kansas City, Hinkie, Adams

Raptors guard Terence Davis has entered a not guilty plea after being charged in New York with two counts of assault, harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets. As The Athletic’s Eric Koreen writes, Davis’ girlfriend visited him at a Manhattan hotel and they allegedly got into a verbal argument. Davis allegedly hit his girlfriend in the face, then grabbed the victim’s phone and broke it. His next court date is December 11.

The Raptors issued a statement which read in part that they “take these issues very seriously, and we will fully cooperate and support the League in its investigation of this matter as we work to determine the appropriate next steps for our team.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has made a pitch to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, lobbying to bring the Raptors to his city next season, Jonathan Concool of Basketball News relays. The Raptors may need to move their games out of Canada, much like baseball’s Blue Jays did this season, due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Kansas City has an arena fit for an NBA team and while Lucas insists he’s not trying to get the Toronto franchise to move there permanently, he’s hoping it would be a de facto “test run” to show the league the city is worthy of an NBA franchise, according to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman.
  • Former Sixers executive Sam Hinkie believes his former team made a smart move by hiring Daryl Morey to run their basketball operations, he told ESPN’s Pablo Torre (hat tip to RealGM). “I think it’s great news. He’s not a good hire. He’s a great hire,” he said.  “It’s a really big move for the franchise. For a franchise I care a lot about. With a bunch of people I care a lot about.”
  • Brian Adams is joining Doc Rivers’ Sixers staff, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Adams worked under Rivers for both the Celtics and Clippers before a two-season stint as head coach of the Clippers’ G League team, Agua Caliente.

NBA, NBPA Extend CBA Termination Deadline For Third Time

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have once again agreed to extend the deadline that would allow one side to terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement due to COVID-19, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.

The decision marks the third of its kind since May, with the new deadline now being October 30. Both sides are in active discussions on what the Collective Bargaining Agreement should include for next season, according to Wojnarowski, who says the possibility of the CBA being terminated remains unlikely.

“Extending is an easy call,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN in August when the sides agreed to extend the deadline for a second time (Twitter link). “If everyone continues to be well-intentioned on how we deal with the economic effects of this virus, we’ll just make the appropriate adjustments and there won’t be a need to terminate the CBA at all.”

Though exact numbers aren’t known, the pandemic has caused significant financial losses for the league this year and beyond. The two sides are discussing a new salary cap for the upcoming campaign based on future financial projections and implications.

It’s unclear when the 2020/21 season could begin, as the league is currently investigating ways to safely bring fans back into arenas for the first time since the pandemic began. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has previously estimated that 40% of the league’s revenue comes from game-night counts.

While the NBA season will occur in some form, a decision also must be reached about the NBA G League. Discussions have been ongoing about how and when the G League could proceed, with several agents telling Hoops Rumors they’ve prioritized placing clients overseas in recent weeks due to the widespread uncertainty.

[RELATED: Uncertainty Surrounds NBA G League’s 2020/21 Season]

The NBA’s current CBA contains a mutual opt-out after the 2022/23 season and extends into the 2023/24 season. The league and union had previously projected a 2020/21 salary cap of $115MM and luxury-tax threshold of $139MM. Some teams fear those numbers could fall by as much as $25-30MM, according to Wojnarowski, though the two sides are expected to reach a compromise to avoid a significant drop.

For fans and officials across the league alike, the importance of the NBA and NBPA configuring a new salary cap mechanism and continuing productive negotiations in the coming weeks is clear.

And-Ones: Adebayo, Olympics, NBA Foundation, Tsai

Although he didn’t make the final 12-man squad that took part in the 2019 World Cup, Heat center Bam Adebayo participated in Team USA’s training camp leading up to that event and received consideration to represent the U.S. in the international competition.

With the Tokyo Olympics on tap for the summer of 2021, however, another national program is hoping to recruit Adebayo away from USA Basketball, according to Colin Udoh of ESPN, who says Nigeria wants to add the big man to its Olympic roster. Adebayo’s father is Nigerian, Udoh notes.

“Having Bam in our national team is a possibility that we are considering as a federation ahead of the 2020 Olympics and beyond,” Nigeria Basketball Federation president Musa Kida said in a statement to ESPN. “We are excited about how far he has gone and what he can achieve in his career with D’Tigers if he chooses to play for Nigeria.”

Nigeria has already earned an Olympic berth and – assuming next season’s schedule allows for it – is expected to feature NBA players such as Josh Okogie, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chimezie Metu, and potentially Spencer Dinwiddie. It remains to be seen if the team will be able to land Adebayo, but he has said in the past that he’d consider Nigeria if asked. He also may be more open to the idea after being cut from last year’s Team USA roster.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA and NBPA issued a joint press release today announcing the board of directors for the NBA Foundation, a new organization dedicated to driving “economic empowerment for Black communities through employment and career advancement.” In addition to Harrison Barnes and Tobias Harris, whose involvement was previously reported, the NBA Foundation’s board of directors will be made up of Adam Silver, Michele Roberts, and four team owners (Gayle Benson, Tony Ressler, Larry Tanenbaum, and Michael Jordan).
  • As we relayed earlier today, China’s CCTV has lifted its year-long ban on NBA broadcasts, citing the league’s role in fighting COVID-19 in China as a primary reason for that decision. NetsDaily suggests Nets owner Joe Tsai may have played a key part in that effort, having sent a $3.7MM donation to China in February to help fight the pandemic.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks lists the trade assets held by all 30 teams, including moveable players, surplus draft picks, and trade exceptions.

Michele Roberts Talks Free Agency, 2020/21 Season, Cap, More

Having rescheduled this year’s draft for November 18, the NBA has yet to officially set a start date for 2020’s free agent period. Speaking to Shams Charania of The Athletic, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts suggested that she thinks free agency will probably start no later than December 1 and that the salary cap and tax figures won’t drop too drastically from what was originally projected.

“We can’t go much beyond (December 1) for (free agency),” Roberts said. “We had a projected BRI (basketball-related income), which I think teams appropriately planned for. I don’t think we can deviate much from where we projected the cap to be.

“It may not reflect what people think is the likely BRI, but since I’m of the view this game is not dead and it will rebound, we can do some things with the cap to allow for a free market and not completely destroy what the teams were expecting the cap to be as they were planning ahead. Frankly, I think that’s going to be one of the easier negotiations, figuring out a cap.”

As Charania writes, Roberts met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Sunday, and the two sides left that meeting confident that they’ll be able to negotiate agreements on the many cap- and CBA-related issues that must be resolved before the new league year and the 2020/21 season begin.

“It’s amazing what needs to be accomplished in the next six weeks, but it has to be done. I feel sooner rather than later,” Roberts said, adding that she doesn’t believe there’s any real chance of a lockout. “… We’re going to resolve this.”

Charania’s Q&A with Roberts is jam-packed with interesting info and quotes, and is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber. Here are a few more of the most notable takeaways from the conversation:

  • Roberts still views January as the “absolute earliest” possible start date for the 2020/21 season. “The latter part of January, February makes sense,” she told Charania. “If it’s later than that, if we have a terrible winter because the virus decides to reassert herself, that’s fine.”
  • Although Roberts and the NBPA share the NBA’s hope that teams can play a full 82-game season in their respective home arenas in 2020/21, she told Charania that the two sides must be “flexible” and “nimble” as it makes plans for next season. “I’m not of the view that we should wait until we think the arenas can open, because this virus, she’s not cooperative at all,” Roberts said.
  • Silver has expressed some reluctance to change the NBA’s permanent calendar as a result of the COVID-related delays, but Roberts sounds more open to that possibility. “Even before COVID happened, there was a conversation about starting our season later. Why compete with football in the fall? Why don’t we start our season around Christmas?” Roberts said to Charania. “It may very well be that our regular schedule is going to change, not so much because of COVID, but because of the ability to experiment. I wouldn’t bet on returning to the old normal.”
  • Faced with the possibility of the NBA’s basketball-related income for next season dipping from $8 billion to something like $6 billion, Roberts acknowledged that maintaining the 51/49 split between players and owners will be tricky. “It comes down to if it’s a $6 billion pie and our owners are entitled to 49%, and they’re already committed to $5 billion in player salaries and fixed costs for example, where’s the rest of their money?” she said. “There’s ways to take that $6 billion and get to their 49%. One of the ways to do it is to slash player salaries. I got to deal with a constituency that, you slash their salaries, this may be for many of my guys on the last two or three years of their careers. Is there a way to deal with that?”
  • Here’s more from Roberts to Charania on the issue of the BRI split: “We’ll never say to the owners: ‘Y’all just going to have to eat the loss.’ Who’s going to do that? They’re not stupid. They’re not just going to say, ‘OK, yeah you’re right, we’re just going to have to lose a couple billion dollars on our own.’  That’s not going to happen. Instead what you say is, ‘Can we figure out a way to manage that so there is no loss, but there isn’t an immediate pay day. Can you withstand some delay in getting your money?’ I have some real life examples of people I know in my life that say that they live paycheck-to-paycheck. And there are other people that can say that they can deal with deferred compensation. You figure it out.”

And-Ones: Disney, 2020/21, AD Trade, Community Assist Awards

While appearing on NBA TV last week, league commissioner Adam Silver stressed that, though no player on the league’s restart campus in Orlando has tested positive for COVID-19 since July, the coronavirus remains a danger to the NBA’s remaining Disney World inhabitants.

“Nobody’s tested positive who lives on this campus, but we’ve had positive tests in our vicinity,” Silver said, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link). “Every night … I am sort of (braced) for that call to say, ‘We have an issue.'”

There’s more from around the NBA:

  • In a conversation with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) prior to last night’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Silver remarked that there’s no set deadline that the 2020/21 regular season must start by. “We love our fans and we want to bring them back into the arenas and we want to do it safely,” Silver said. “And so if there are advancements right on the horizon (related to coronavirus testing or treatment), that will be a reason to wait.”
  • ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wonders if the blockbuster summer trade that landed Anthony Davis in Los Angeles may wind up ultimately benefiting both the Lakers and their trade partner, the Pelicans. The move gifted the Pelicans with a treasure trove of draft picks, plus 2020 All-Star Brandon Ingram and intriguing young guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Pelton notes that the Lakers will be in good position to retain the role players that have helped bring Davis and All-Star teammate LeBron James within two games of the Lakers’ 17th NBA title.
  • The NBA has announced its 2019/20 Community Assistant award winners. All-Star Thunder point guard Chris Paul is joined by Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Bucks point guard George Hill, and Mavericks big man Dwight Powell. The award honors players who have made significant community impacts in the arenas of social justice and COVID-19 help this season. The NBA and Kaiser Permanente will donate $10K to a charity of choice for each of these five players.

Adam Silver Says NBA Players In 2021 Olympics ‘Unlikely’

With the NBA expecting the 2020/21 season to start until this upcoming January at the earliest, the league’s players will likely not participate in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, commissioner Adam Silver said on NBATV (via NBC Sports).

“I think it’s unlikely, at the end of the day, that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver said. “Because, as you know, it’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo. But they require training camp, and then they require rest afterwards.”

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the 2020 Olympics to be postponed, thus casting doubt on NBA players’ ability to participate. The Olympics are set for a July 23, 2021 start, so an NBA season that begins in January or later would result in a likely conflict.

While Team USA would be the most severely impacted without the NBA’s top players available, international teams would also be affected as the league’s best international talents would be unavailable.

“There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we’ll be able to field a very competitive team,” Silver said. “I am a bit worried about some of the international teams, because, as you know, some of their stars play in our league, and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams.”

Adam Silver Talks 2020/21 Season, CBA Negotiations, More

Addressing reporters on Wednesday before the 2020 NBA Finals got underway, commissioner Adam Silver reiterated that the league’s goal for the start of the 2020/21 regular season is to get fans back in arenas, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press and Mark Medina of USA Today. While it may not be realistic to expect sell-out crowds, especially if no coronavirus vaccine has been approved, Silver is hopeful that the introduction of rapid COVID-19 testing will help matters.

“Based on everything I’ve read, there’s almost no chance that there will be a vaccine at least that is widely distributed at least before we start the next season. I do not see the development of a vaccine as a prerequisite,” Silver said, per Medina. “My sense with rapid testing is we may not have 19,000 people in the building. We’ll see. But that, with appropriate protocols in terms of distancing and with advanced testing, you will be able to bring fans back into the arenas.

“… The question is will there be truly rapid tests, point-of-care testing that don’t get sent to the lab? Are there instant results? There are lot of pharmaceutical companies focused on that. There’s a marketplace for that.”

Both Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts stressed that their preference is not to repeat the bubble or mini-bubble experience for the 2020/21 season, despite its success in Orlando this summer.

“Do I want to do it again? Not if I can avoid it,” Roberts said, per Reynolds. “Those are my marching orders: Not if we can avoid it. Now, having said that, the players want to make sure we can save our season again.”

Silver’s state-of-the-league address touched on a handful of other topics. Here are some of the highlights from the NBA’s commissioner:


On the start date for the 2020/21 season:

Silver recently acknowledged that the ’20/21 season is unlikely to start until sometime in the new year, but on Wednesday he didn’t entirely close the door on a Christmas Day start, even while admitting that it’s unlikely.

“The earliest we would start is Christmas. That’s been a traditional tent-pole day for the league; but it may come and go,” Silver said, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “Probably the greater likelihood is we start in January.”

As Silver pointed out, the 2019/20 campaign has been the longest season in NBA history and many players who participated in the summer restart in Orlando were continuously training through the hiatus, meaning they’re not necessarily eager for a quick turnaround to training camps.

“The Finals will end in roughly mid-October, and they need a break physically and mentally,” Silver said, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “There’s no question about that.”

Silver was also asked about the possibility of shifting the NBA’s schedule further into the summer on a permanent basis, but downplayed the idea that the league is seriously considering that possibility, suggesting that many players want “some normalcy in the summer” and adding that “fewer people are watching television in the summer,” as ESPN’s Tim Bontemps details.


On negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreement adjustments with the NBPA:

The NBA has yet to set dates for free agency, figures for the 2020/21 salary cap, or a calendar for next season. It will need to negotiate those issues – and many others – with the players’ union before finalizing anything. However, Silver didn’t sound concerned about the two sides’ ability to work things out.

“There’s no doubt there are issues on the table that need to be negotiated,” Silver said, according to Vardon. “I think it’s — we’ve managed to work through every other issue so far. I think we have a constructive relationship with (the NBPA). We share all information. We look at our various business models together. So I think while no doubt there will be issues and there will be some difficult negotiations ahead, I fully expect we’ll work them out, as we always have.”

Silver indicated that serious negotiations on the necessary changes likely won’t begin until after the Finals are complete, but reiterated that he doesn’t believe there will be any labor issues.

“I think we all understand the essential parameters,” Silver said.


On the number of Black head coaches in the NBA:

In the wake of racial and social justice protests this summer, the number of Black head coaches in the NBA has shrunk, with Doc Rivers, Nate McMillan, and Alvin Gentry losing their jobs while interim Nets coach Jacque Vaughn was also replaced. According to Bontemps, there are just four Black head coaches left in the NBA for now: J.B. Bickerstaff, Lloyd Pierce, Monty Williams, and Dwane Casey.

Given the NBA’s increased awareness of the importance of diversity in hiring, Silver said the league is encouraging teams with coaching openings to consider a wide range of candidates. However, he said the league office won’t dictate who teams should hire and doesn’t believe the NBA requires a rule similar to the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” mandating a certain number of interviews with minority candidates.

“We’ve looked at what might be an equivalent to a Rooney-type rule in the NBA, and I’m not sure it makes sense,” Silver said, per ESPN. “I’m open-minded if there are other ways to address it. There is a certain natural ebb and flow to the hiring and firing, frankly, of coaches, but the number is too low right now. And again, I think we should — let’s talk again after we fill these six positions and see where we are, because I know we can do better, and I think we will do better.”


On whether traveling to and from Canada will be possible for the Raptors and other NBA teams in 2020/21:

Since the ’19/20 campaign was completed in Orlando, international travel hasn’t been an issue for NBA franchises. However, if teams return to their respective home arenas for next season, that will be an important factor to take into account for the Raptors and their opponents, since Canada’s federal government has closed its border with the U.S. to non-essential travelers.

Toronto’s MLB team, the Blue Jays, didn’t receive approval from the Canadian government to play in Toronto during the 2020 season and was forced to instead play home games across the border in Buffalo. Silver admitted that he’s unsure what the plans would be for the Raptors, observing that the decision will be somewhat out of the NBA’s hands.

“Obviously it’s one of those things that’s going to be outside of our control,” Silver said, according to Bontemps. “I know (Raptors owner) Larry (Tanenbaum) has had ongoing conversations, as has (president of basketball operations) Masai Ujiri, with government officials in Canada to see how they’re going to be looking at things this fall, but it’s just too early to know. But we will obviously have to work with whatever rules we’re presented with there.”


Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Zion, Silver, Chalmers, Bona, Lawson

A panel of 15 NBA evaluators, including four general managers, unanimously agreed that Mavericks star Luka Doncic is the player under 25 whom they would most want to build a franchise around, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Suns guard Devin Booker, and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant received the next-highest scores in the poll.

As Scotto notes, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Pelicans big man Zion Williamson, placed just seventh on the evaluators’ list, tied with Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. Among the respondents who spoke to Scotto, the enthusiasm for Williamson’s obvious upside was dampened by long-term weight and injury concerns.

“He’s just a special player inside the arc who’s an elite finisher,” one executive said of the Pelicans’ rising star. “… He’s one of the best finishers behind Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and LeBron (James). He can hit the open man. He’s so physically dominant. His shooting shouldn’t be a problem, but we’ll see. I think he’s always going to be hurt, though.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to be at the league’s Walt Disney World campus this week, sources tell Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether Silver’s visit will be brief or if he plans to stick around through the NBA Finals.
  • Greek club Aris Thessaloniki has announced the signing of former NBA guard Mario Chalmers (hat tip to Sportando). A former two-time champion with Miami, Chalmers spent last season in Athens, but continues to hold out hope of making an NBA comeback.
  • Adem Bona, a 17-year-old Nigerian/Turkish big man, will spend the next two seasons stateside at Prolific Prep in California, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who refers to Bona as one of Europe’s “most promising” prospects (Twitter links). He’ll become draft-eligible in 2023, Givony adds.
  • Agent Chris Patrick and The Sports Law Group have ended their representation of former NBA guard Ty Lawson following his ban from the Chinese Basketball Association, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Lawson last played in the NBA during the 2018 postseason with Washington.